Honda Fit 2007-2013 used car review

Small on the outside, but big on the inside, the Honda Fit is a great car for city drivers.

Richard Edwards
Richard Edwards
Expert Reviewer | Auto Media Group

Small on the outside, but big on the inside, the Honda Fit is a great car for city drivers. A noisy drivetrain will make it tiresome on the open road.

Exterior , 4.5 out of 5 Drive , 3 out of 5 Safety , 2 out of 5 Value , 4 out of 5 Interior , 4.5 out of 5

Overall score , 3.6 out of 5

The good
  • Interior versatility, particularly the ‘Magic Seats’
  • Low running costs
  • Great for city driving
The not-so-good
  • Low safety rating for its age
  • CVT automatic can make the engine noisy

The second-generation Fit sticks firmly to Honda’s formula for a city hatchback. A short bonnet and tall body provide the maximum amount of people and luggage space possible while taking up a small amount of road. Noticeable changes over the old model include more modern, sharper styling, a new interior and improved engines. A petrol-electric hybrid version was launched in 2010.

In New Zealand, the Fit is sold under the Jazz model name.

Inside and out

Once inside the Fit, you instantly feel the extra space its design offers over other small cars. The ceiling is high, the windows large and despite the dark fabrics and plastic, it feels light and airy.

While unconventional, the dashboard quickly begins to make sense. The touchscreen infotainment system (which requires a band expander to receive local stations) and knobs for the manual air conditioning sit very high on the dash, very close to the driver's left hand. 

Changing the temperature requires taking your hand off the wheel for a split second, and your eyes do not have to leave the road. The gauges are set in individual pods and are large and easy to read.

The front seats are sculpted and very supportive. The Fit is popular with older buyers as its high, upright seating position makes it easier to enter and exit. The rear seat’s slightly restricted width makes it better suited to just two adults or three children, but legroom is excellent.

Honda has maximised cabin space by moving the fuel tank from the traditional spot under the rear seats to beneath the front seats. The base of the rear seat – called a 'Magic Seat' by Honda – can be folded out of the way to create a tall luggage space big enough to take two large suitcases or even children’s bikes. 

For larger loads, the rear seat can fold down 60/40 to create a healthy amount of cargo space, and for very long items, the front passenger seat will also fold down. The boot is big at 337 litres, and its depth allows three medium suitcases to stand upright.

Maintaining the short bonnet and tall stance of the previous model, the Fit gets a sharper-looking design, including more angled front and rear lights. It looks a little more sporty, though from some angles appears more like a small MPV rather than a standard hatchback.

On the road

Engine performance in the second generation Fit is far better than the first and on par with its competitors. Now with Honda’s well-known VTEC variable valve timing system, the 1.3-litre four-cylinder petrol engine produces 73kW and 127Nm. 

A 1.5-litre version is available offering more performance, while a 1.3-litre petrol-electric hybrid offers slightly more performance with better fuel economy. Cars made from 2012 feature an ‘ECO’ button which reduces throttle sensitivity to decrease fuel use further.

The most common transmission available is a CVT automatic transmission, although a five-speed manual and five-speed automatic are available but less common. The CVT automatic can make the engine sound as if it’s revving hard even when the car is accelerating only slowly.

With a small 9.4-metre turning circle, town is where the Fit is best to drive. It is very manoeuvrable with a comfortable ride and adequate acceleration. The Fit is also quite easy to park because you sit high behind the wheel you can easily see all four corners of the car. Our review Fit didn’t have a reversing camera or sensors.

Towing is not recommended with this Fit due to its CVT automatic transmission.


Mechanically, the Honda Fit is regarded as being very reliable. While the previous generation had some issues with the quality of the CVT automatic, this does not appear to be happening yet with this model.

All engines available in the Fit use a timing chain, which will not require regular replacement. Interior trim is hard-wearing and well finished. Choose the darker grey cloth seating as opposed to the light beige, as the lighter the colour, the harder it is to get stains out of the seats.

While they look great, avoid red Fits. The paint is prone to fading, turning pink on the roof, bonnet and plastic bumpers. The clear coat on this colour can also bubble and peel away. Sellers have been known to polish the car to hide the fading, but it will soon return.


RightCar lists the Honda Fit (2008–2014), as having a low two-star Used Car Safety Rating, based on real-world crash data from New Zealand and Australia. The Mazda Demio (2008-2014), offers a three-star rating. Safety features on our review vehicle include driver and passenger airbags, and anti-lock braking. 

Electronic stability control was optional and can be recognised by looking for an ‘ESC off’ button below and to the right of the steering wheel.

The New Zealand–new Jazz (2008–2014) carries a four-star ANCAP rating, as it features standard side and curtain airbags, electronic stability control and electronic brakeforce distribution.

Two ISOFIX child seat mounts can be found in the back seat, in the window positions. The centre seatbelt is a lap-only type, offering less protection than a full three-point belt, and is unsuitable for a booster seat.

Cost of ownership

Honda Fits require servicing every 10,000km or 12 months, with new transmission fluid needed every 40,000km. The standard service costs $340 at a Honda dealer, while the transmission service is an additional $150.

RightCar estimates that over 14,000km of driving a 1.3-litre Honda Fit will cost $1,120 a year to fuel, this is $80 less than a Mazda Demio. The 40-litre fuel tank will cost $80 to fill at $2 a litre and should take you 870km before the fuel light comes on.

The Fit is in the cheapest class for ACC levies, so the annual licensing fee (registration) is $85.59.

Trade Me Insurance estimates insurance will cost $42.50 per month for a car valued at $6,000*, $1 more than a Mazda Demio.

Buyers' guide

Honda Fits from 2008-2014 are available on Trade Me ranging in price from $5,600 to $16,000.

While the 1.3-litre version is adequate for day-to-day use, if you can afford a 1.5-litre version, get it – the extra performance will be handy, and the additional fuel use is minimal. Hybrid versions are available, but considering how fuel efficient a standard Fit is, are probably not worth the extra cost.


  • G The standard specification Fit with fabric interior, manual air conditioning, electric windows and steel wheels. Available with a CVT automatic, five-speed manual or five-speed automatic and all-wheel drive.
  • L – Featuring climate control air conditioning and more shapely front seats with armrests. Available with a CVT automatic or five-speed automatic and all-wheel drive.
  • X – A premium specification, with steering wheel stereo controls, cruise control and heated front seats. Available only with a 1.5-litre engine, paired with a CVT automatic, or five-speed automatic and all-wheel drive.
  • RS – Based on the L, but with a body kit, alloy wheels, steering wheel stereo controls and the ability to manually shift the CVT automatic transmission through seven ratios using paddles mounted on the steering column.

A sedan and station wagon were also based on the fit, called the City and Shuttle respectively.


  • 2007 Launched in Japan
  • 2010 Receives a facelift
  • 2010 Hybrid model launched
  • 2013 replaced by new model


Review vehicle

2008 Honda Fit G


$5,600 to $15,000 for models which have travelled 70,000 to 120,000km


1.3-litre four-cylinder, 73kW/127Nm (claimed)


CVT automatic, front-wheel drive

Safety rating

Two-star Used Car Safety Rating


10,000km or 12 months

Spare wheel

Space saver

Fuel economy

4-litres per 100km (claimed)

Fuel type








Turning circle


The review covers the Honda Fit for model years 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Review vehicle supplied by City Motor Group, Penrose.

*Our insurance estimates are based on a 35-year-old male with no accidents in the last two years, garaging the car in Mission Bay, Auckland. The car is not used for business and will cover 10,000km to 20,000km a year. We estimate with no option add-ons and $500 excess. Customise your estimate at Trade Me Insurance.

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